Delta Air Lines
This is my first stab at a trip report, so be kind!
I decided to take a long weekend and spend it with my family in Dallas. I booked a ticket on Delta to fly from DEN/DFW/DEN on Friday, March 29th. I arrived very early due to boring circumstances. After being dropped off at the curb by the remote parking van, I decided to go upstairs and check in, since I had loads of time. But, being impatient as I am, after seeing the long line at the Delta counter, I quickly tried to use the E-Ticket check in. I guess you have to use your Skymiles card in order to use the machine, unlike other airlines. Somewhat frustrated, I went back down stairs and used the curbside. At the curb, I was able to obtain my boarding pass.
I decided to grab a bite to eat in the main terminal. There are more choices of places to eat. Seems McDonald’s is the good choice in the concourses. After seeing the crowds in the main terminal, I thought I’d better eat quickly and get in line for security. I decided to go through security at concourse A, thinking the line would be shorter. It was. For those that don’t know, the A concourse is connected via a skywalk from the main terminal (thanks to Frank Lorenzo). I skated through security and proceeded over the skywalk. The view was great. I saw a few Frontier 737’s and the new F9 A319. I decided to walk around the concourse. There didn’t seem to be a lot of activity around so I went down to the train station and proceeded to the C concourse.
With two hours till my flight, I bought a paper and sat down at the far end of the concourse (I think East end). There were a lot of AA MD80’s leaving. There was even a TW MD80 is full AA colors (I didn’t know the TWA planes were now marked ‘American’) leaving for St. Louis. I also saw a charter Allegiant Air MD87 parked at Vanguard’s gate. U S Airways, and Northwest along with AA seemed to be quite busy. I also saw a Lufthansa A340 land from Frankfurt—that’s a pretty plane. Sadly, UA still has a lone 727 sitting at their hanger (visible from Concourse C).
Finally it was time to board. Boarding began at 3:05. I’ve noticed Delta takes forever for general boarding to commence. First, is pre-boarding, then, First, and then Medallion Elite members. By the time they had boarded those groups, it was 3:20. That left the rest of the 150 or so of us to board in 10 minutes. I was in 40C so I was the first general group to board. Lucky for me, I was seated with a group of high school kids going to Dallas for some event. I usually try to sit in the isle, but was grateful for the window seat. We were packed in there. I couldn’t read the rest of my paper, so I decided to lean against the window and listen to the in-flight entertainment system.
Delta really needs to upgrade their entertainment system. The music choices were terrible and the video was basically shows from E! I decided to work the SKY crossword instead. Flight time was a little under two hours. The flight was extremely turbulent in the beginning. People kept looking around and at the wings, making sure they were still on I guess.
After the turbulence subsided, the FA came around with a small bag of pretzels and a cup of ginger ale. Certainly nothing special, but no complaints. Pretty soon we were descending into Dallas. After beautiful landing we taxied for what seemed like eternity to the Delta terminal. In Dallas, Delta has three main banks of flights. We arrived during one of the banks so the terminal was loaded with 757’s, 767’s and MD88/80’s. I guess if its not a bank time, the terminal is almost deserted. You will find many, many Delta CRJ in Comair and Skywest colors. Those two seem to have taken the bulk of Delta’s operations in Dallas now. Kind of sad. The Delta satellite terminal that was built a few years back now is exclusively for the Connection carriers. It no longer has jetways.
The bags came out quickly and I was off to spend Easter with my family.
After arriving at the airport at 2:00 for my 3:30 flight back to Denver, the Delta terminal was deserted. Northwest, Vanguard, and AirTran now use this terminal (it used to be exclusively Delta). I saw two NW’s planes, an A319 and a DC9. Later I was surprised to see a Sun Country plane.
Upon check in, I asked the agent if there were any exit row seating. She said no and that the flight was booked. I’ve flown long enough to know that when a plane is booked, there’s always the possibility of an oversold situation. Knowing this, I perched my self to the nearest seat by the podium at gate 8. Sure enough, the gate agent announced that they needed 5 volunteers to give up their seats for a $200 travel voucher. Since I was sitting so close, I made it up to the desk before he was done with his announcement. He immediately said they would need my seat and I was being re-booked on AA’s 4:03 flight. After obtaining my voucher and new AA ticket I took the bus over to AA’s terminal.
Now AA’s terminal(s) in Dallas is much different than Delta’s. At Delta’s terminal, you could nap in the middle of the concourse without disruption. At AA’s terminal it was a madhouse. There’s no carpeting in the main concourse area so its very loud. The agent asked me if I wanted an window or isle. I requested an isle and there I waited. There is a ton of construction going on in Dallas, so I couldn’t tell by looking out at the window where my plane was. The jetbridge snaked around that I couldn’t tell if it was a MD80 or 757. When my group was called (AA boards by groups—5 in all). I along with my fellow bumpees from Delta were tagged for a gate security check. This was my first time to be gate checked. The security guy, who barely spoke English asked me questions that I could barely understand. After he rummaged through my belongings (a strange experience) I boarded the plane. I was glad to see it was a 757. This plane was still in the old interior (light blue). We boarded through the first door by first class. AA’s 757’s are different from Delta’s in that Delta has the full center galley where as AA has only a mini galley with a lavatory. I took my seat and fished for my earphones in the seatback pocket. The crew was very professional and business like. The captain sounded like an AM news radio dj. After another long taxi to the West side of the airport, we were informed we were number 10 inline for departure. I saw mostly AA planes with a FedEx 727 as the lone exception.
We took off to the North and banked slightly to the west and headed out over Northwest Texas. After the number one FA turned on the video system, they began CBS’s Eye on American, clips from 60 minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, and David Letterman were shown. They also showed a full King of Queens. The FA came around and I received a full can of ginger ale and a Rold Gold snack mix. The flight was uneventful and we landed in Denver to a cold and cloudy day. My bags were waiting form me at the Delta carousel and that was the end of my trip.